Measure would let troops get early ballots overseas
Published July 23rd 2003 in Arizona Republic

As many as 17,000 Maricopa County military personnel stationed overseas could request early ballots through the Internet or via fax under a bill approved by a state Senate committee Wednesday.

Hoping to make good on a campaign promise, Secretary of State Jan Brewer is pushing the plan to make it easier for military personnel to vote.

Currently, they are allowed to request early ballots by phone or regular
mail. Their requests must be made 30 days before an election.

The most common complaint from troops is not getting ballots soon enough to return them before Election Day, Brewer said.

"Their vote ought to count," Brewer said. "This piece of legislation makes
sure that happens."

The proposal approved Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee would centralize ballot requests at the Secretary of State's Office, which would send them to appropriate counties.

In Maricopa County, roughly 17,000 registered voters serving overseas in the military could benefit, officials said.

Only 367 asked for a ballot for last November's general election, said
Mitch Etter, assistant director of the county's elections department.